DetailPage-MSS-KB

Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 305595 - Last Review: May 22, 2013 - Revision: 3.0

This article was previously published under Q305595
This article is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to contact Microsoft help and support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/ (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/)

On This Page

Summary

This step-by-step article describes how to create a bootable floppy disk for Windows XP to access a drive with a faulty boot sequence on an Intel-processor-based computer.

The Windows XP installation CD-ROM is a bootable disk and can be used to start Windows. When you use the Windows XP installation CD-ROM to start your computer, you can use the Windows Recovery Console to help recover the system software. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314058  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058/ ) Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console
Note The procedure for RISC-based computers is different and not documented in this article.

Requirements

  • A blank floppy disk
  • The Windows XP CD-ROM or an operational Windows XP-based computer

Create a boot floppy disk by using a Windows XP-based computer

  1. Format a floppy disk by using the Windows XP format utility. To do this follow these steps:
    1. Insert the floppy disk that you want to use into the floppy disk drive.
    2. Click Start, click Run, type format a:, and then click OK.
  2. Copy the Ntldr and the Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP installation CD-ROM, from the Windows XP installation floppy disk, or from a computer that is running the same version of Windows XP as the computer that you want to access by using the boot floppy disk. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Insert the Windows XP installation media into the disk drive of the computer.
    2. Click Start, click Run, type <DriveLetter>:\I386, and then click OK.

      Note<DriveLetter> represents the root location of the installation media.
    3. Right-click the Ntldr file, and then click Copy.
    4. Click Start, click Run, type a:, and then click OK.
    5. Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.
    6. Repeat steps 2b through 2e for the Ntdetect.com file.
  3. Create a Boot.ini file, or copy one from a computer that is running Windows XP, and then modify the Boot.ini file to match the computer that you are trying to access. The following example lists how to create a Boot.ini file for a single-partition Integrated Device Electronics drive that has Windows XP installed in the \Windows folder:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type notepad, and then click OK.
    2. Type the following text:
      [boot loader]
      timeout=30
      Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
      [operating systems]
      multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="<OperatingSystem>"
      
      Note The value that is represented by the <OperatingSystem> placeholder depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer that you are trying to access. For example, if you are trying to start a Windows XP Professional computer, this value is as follows:
      Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    3. Click the File menu, and then click Save As.
    4. Select 3 ½ Floppy (A:) from the Save in drop-down list, type Boot.ini in the File name text box, and then click Save.
    Note If your computer starts from a SCSI hard disk drive, you may have to replace the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller that is used on the computer to the root of the boot disk, and then rename the device driver to Ntbootdd.sys. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID of the hard disk drive you want to start. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not have to change the code in the Boot.ini file.
  4. Insert the floppy disk into the floppy disk drive of your computer, and then restart Windows XP.

Create a boot floppy disk without a Windows XP-based computer

  1. To download and to create the Windows XP Setup boot disks from a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base article 310994. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    310994  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310994/ ) How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks
  2. Delete all the files from the newly created Setup disk 1.
  3. Copy the Ntldr and the Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP installation CD-ROM, on the Windows XP installation floppy disk, or from a computer that is running the same version of Windows XP as the computer that you want to access by using the boot floppy disk. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Insert the Windows XP installation media into the disk drive of the computer.
    2. Click Start, click Run, type <DriveLetter>:\I386, and then click OK.

      Note<DriveLetter> represents the root location of the installation media.
    3. Right-click the Ntldr file, and then click Copy.
    4. Click Start, click Run, type a:, and then click OK.
    5. Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.
    6. Repeat steps 2b through 2e for the Ntdetect.com file.
  4. Rename the Ntldr file to Setupldr.bin. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Right-click the Ntldr file, and then click Rename.
    2. Type Setupldr.bin, and then press ENTER.
  5. Create a Boot.ini file or copy one from a computer that is running Windows XP, and then modify the Boot.ini file to match the computer that you are trying to access. The following example lists how to create a Boot.ini file for a single-partition Integrated Device Electronics drive with Windows XP installed in the \Windows folder:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type notepad, and then click OK.
    2. Type the following text :
      [boot loader]
      timeout=30
      Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
      [operating systems]
      multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="<OperatingSystem>"
      
      Note The value represented by the <OperatingSystem> placeholder depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer that you are trying to access. For example, if you are try to start a Windows XP Professional computer, this value is as follows:
      Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    3. Click the File menu, and then click Save As.
    4. Select 3 ½ Floppy (A:) from the Save in drop-down list, type Boot.ini in the File name text box, and then click Save.
    Note If your computer starts from a SCSI hard disk drive, you may have to replace the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller that is used on the computer to the root of the boot disk, and then rename the device driver to Ntbootdd.sys. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID of the hard disk drive you want to start. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not have to change the code in the Boot.ini file.
  6. Insert the floppy disk into the floppy disk drive of your computer, and then restart Windows XP.

Troubleshooting

If the path that points to the system files is incorrect or includes the drive letter, you may receive the following error message:
Windows XP could not start because of the following ARC firmware boot configuration problem:
Did not properly generate ARC name for HAL and system paths. Please check the Windows XP (TM) documentation about ARC configuration options and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.
If an incorrect SCSI driver has been selected or the Ntbootdd.sys file does not exist, you may receive the following error message:
Windows XP could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows XP (TM) documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.

Resolving startup issues with a boot floppy disk

You may be able to use a Windows XP bootable disk to start the operating system on a computer running Windows XP. Use the procedures in this article to work around the following boot issues:
  • Damaged boot sector.
  • Damaged master boot record (MBR).
  • Virus infections.
  • Missing or damaged Ntldr or Ntdetect.com files.
  • Incorrect Ntbootdd.sys driver.
  • To boot from the shadow of a broken mirror. Please note that you may need to modify the Boot.ini file to do this.
You cannot use the Windows XP boot disk to help resolve the following issues:
  • Incorrect or damaged device drivers that are installed in the System folder.
  • Boot issues that occur after you see the Windows XP startup (Osloader) screen.

References

The Windows installation media contains the files that you have to have to start Windows, and is itself a boot disk. If a problem prevents Windows from starting, you can use the installation media to start Windows. The installation media also contains the Startup Repair utility that you can use to repair Windows if a problem prevents Windows from starting correctly. The Startup Repair utility can automatically fix many of the problems that in the past required a boot disk to fix. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/2ca4f65f-a63d-4a73-9d35-15b32d6cdc321033.mspx (http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/2ca4f65f-a63d-4a73-9d35-15b32d6cdc321033.mspx)

Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbacwsurvey kbenv kbhowtomaster KB305595
Share
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support